The first thing to say is that the New Testament is the second half of the Christian Bible, and follows the Old Testament and what Protestants call the Apocrypha – mostly intertestamental writings which continue to speak of God’s grace and his care for his people, the people of Israel. The New Testament is about Jesus, a Jew from Israel, who lived and died and was brought back to life again by God.
Course code: INT001
In this course you will be introduced to the historical-critical method, and how to use it in reading the New Testament. The focus is on the text itself, not on the method, but you will learn to listen to what the text has to say through the critical lenses of Biblical criticism. The first principle of Biblical scholarship is that the text must be allowed to speak, and be heard. In a busy world where so many things try to grab our attention, this course focuses your attention on selected texts of the New Testament. As we stand nearly two thousand years distant from the texts, they can appear familiar and unfamiliar in equal measure. Closer acquaintance with the texts will help you come to your own conclusions about their meaning for the authors, for the hearers, and for you today. However familiar you are with the Biblical texts, you will see them in a new light, and be better able to relate them and their meaning to everyday life, with its challenges and opportunities. This will enable you to proclaim the Gospel in a clearer manner, authentic to the New Testament texts and to the traditions of the Church, for example the encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu(1943) of Pope Pius XII which made the historical method a duty.
- To understand source, form and redaction criticism
- To study the New Testament using modern methods of Biblical criticism
- To evaluate the role of redaction criticism in the formation of the nativity stories in the Gospels.
- Demonstrate an understanding of redaction criticism
- Evaluate the significance of the historical-critical method in the study of the Gospels
- Conduct an exegesis of a key Biblical text and apply the methods to that process.
A final assignment and a course quiz provide the assessment for the course.